VISA PROGRAM FOR STAY IN CANADA
CANADIAN START-UP VISA PROGRAM
The Canadian Start-up Visa Program (SUV) is for immigrant entrepreneurs who have the skills and potential to build innovative businesses in Canada that can create jobs for Canadians and compete globally. Eligible applicants must invest CAD 350,000 in a Canadian “approved designated organization.” Approved investors must also demonstrate net worth through income of at least $200,000 or financial assets of $1,000,000.
The SUV program provides a fast and inexpensive immigration path to Canada that leads to permanent residency (PR). Unlike other business immigration pathways, PR status is not tied to the success of the business.
Investors can include their spouse and children aged 21 and younger. Successful applicants can live anywhere in Canada except the province of Quebec. This program lasts only 12 to 18 months.
CANADIAN PERMANENT RESIDENCY AND CITIZENSHIP
After a successful application, investors and their families are granted permanent resident status from day one. Investors must reside in Canada for 730 days (two years) within a five-year period to be eligible for PR status. If investors live in Canada for three of the five years (1,095 days), it is possible to apply for Canadian citizenship. Citizenship applicants must demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English and/or French and have no criminal record.
IMMIGRATION VISA PROGRAM FOR INVESTORS IN QUEBEC
Quebec regulates its immigration laws at the provincial level and therefore has its own program. The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP) is the province’s only program that allows passive investment.
Applicants must have acquired a net worth of 2.0 million Canadian dollars, commit to investing 1,200,000 Canadian dollars for 5 years, declare their intention to reside in Quebec, and have managed a business for at least two years and had at least two full-time employees in the last five years.
The Quebec Immigrant Investor Program admits 1900 applicants annually. No more than 1330 applicants are admitted from a single country. Completing an application is a lengthy process and only fully completed applications are considered.
FUNDING THE QIIP
Most investors choose a different way to meet QIIP requirements, called “walkaway funding.” Instead of investing the full CAD$800,000, investors can obtain financing from a financial intermediary where they receive no return. Instead, they pay a much smaller amount. Under current market conditions, most investors can obtain “walkaway financing” with an investment of approximately CAD$350,000.
Once approved by provincial immigration authorities, investors are eligible to apply for immigration (a residence permit) through the federal system.